A dynasty which ruled much of Manchuria and a small part of north‐east China. It was founded by the Qidan (Khitan) tribesmen of Tungus stock, whose homeland was around the Liao River in Manchuria. From their name came the Russian Kitai and Marco Polo's Cathay. Qidan strength lay in cavalry. In 1004 their frontier with the Northern Song was stabilized. Gradually they adopted Chinese habits, accepting the teachings of Confucius, holding civil service examinations, and performing the customary Chinese rites. Overthrown by the Juchen, nomad huntsmen who founded the Jin dynasty, some of them migrated westward to become the Kara Khitai of Central Asia.
Subjects: World History.